That video above is why I like award shows. It’s why even when I hear every take that makes the argument that awards don’t matter, I come back to the same answer, they can. Look, I’m a person that believes in hope and that dreams are worth living for, so these speeches are speaking directly to my bias but damn it, it’s what makes life worth living!
Alright alright, the watery eyes have dried, back to the awards. This year’s Academy Awards were mostly devoid of any surprises. Going into the show after having watched most of the best picture winners (sorry Women Talking) and following a few of the critic circles I had a good idea of where things would go even with the many shorts that I didn’t get an opportunity to watch. Personally, the movie I fell in love with early last year by this point was still my favorite to want to win. It did. Everything Everywhere All at Once is such a special movie not just because of its unique ideas but just because it nails human moments so well. The importance of moms, the different ways one can show strength, acceptance of who we are, ah! This movie, I swear it gets me revved up every time I start to really dig into it. In the end, Everything Everywhere took home the following awards:
- Best Picture
- Best Director(s)
- Best Editing
- Best Original Screenplay
- Best Actress
- Best Supporting Actor
- Best Supporting Actress
It deserved every one of those awards and it put a smile on my face to see it. The other big winner of the night was All Quiet on the Western Front. It came away with four awards, three that felt like locks (Best International Film, Best Cinematography, Best Score) and one win that felt like a surprise (Best Production Design). I can’t disagree with any of those wins, well deserved, even if in the realm of recent WWI movies, I still think 1917 is superior. As the night progressed the Best Makeup and Hairstyling win for the Whale made it clear to me that there would be no dark horse for Best Actor. Sure enough, Brendan Fraser took home the statue, and like so many of the winners of the night it felt right. So many first-time wins and it was beautiful to see them all processing the moment of such recognition.
Production-wise for the show at large, this year did a great job of not having overly long bits that no one wants to see, and every award was presented at the show. I know that’s a low bar but for years the Academy has made one baffling decision after another that defeated the point of an awards ceremony. Still, there was still some banter between award presenters that I really don’t think is necessary. Give a little anecdote and get to the award. Let the winners speak. Find as many ways as possible to let them have their moment. There were many times people got cut off by music, but it sure did happen when a group won an award. Jimmy Kimmel did a solid job hosting too, most of the bits worked, and yeah that includes the jabs at the insanity that is the politics of the United States. While all of this worked, I still can’t wait for the day that some streaming option is available. I don’t miss old broadcast TV and its endless barrage of commercials. It is draining and feels like a relic of the past that does drag down shows like these.
All in all, the 95th Academy Awards was a fun watch as far as this movie fan is concerned. Here’s hoping for another fun year of movies!